What is an Official Award?
Official Awards are the official documents received from the Sponsor Agency, which will include the final approved budget; the period of performance (i.e., project dates); and terms and conditions of receiving the award. The award can come in the form of a Grant, Contract, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), Cooperative Agreement, Service Agreement, Research Agreement, or Subcontract.
It is the responsibility of the Research and Sponsored Programs team and Research Contract Services to review the terms and conditions of the award document and negotiate a resolution to any terms that would create a compromising or undesirable situation for the investigator or the institution. The Principal Investigator is often integral to this process. Although our team and Research Contract Services strive to finalize negotiations of an award document as quickly as possible, negotiations may take several weeks depending upon the sponsor and the scope of the requested amendments.
Only an Authorized Signing Official/Authorized Organizational Representative has institutional authority to legally bind the institution in research administration matters.
Establishing an Award
Following the receipt of a sponsored award notice and/or an agreement indicating an intention to fund, the Research and Sponsored Programs team and Research Contract Services are responsible for approving terms and conditions of awards/agreements and ensuring relevant information is available for continued award set up. Our grant specialists will then transfer the award documents to the Award Setup Team who will continue with the set up process. The Award Setup Team is responsible for processing budget reductions, consolidating any relevant compliance approvals, initiating the subaward process, and creating an award and related project account(s) in Oracle. Once an account is active, the Award Setup Team will electronically notify the Principal Investigator and Departmental Administrators of the assigned account number(s) so the PI can begin spending on the award. The notification is sent to those individuals listed in the RAPSS award record.
Award Setup Process
The information below describes key aspects of the award setup process.
If the award requires issuance of a project account(s) due to collaboration between investigators of multiple units within the university, a Project Fund Source/Index Request & Modification Form must also be submitted at the time the award is processed to Research and Sponsored Programs. The form requires the signatures of the Principal Investigator and Business Official of the prime award unit, and the signatures of the Co-Investigator and Business Official of each “project” account unit. Additionally, a detailed budget for each project account will be required to reflect the breakdown of the account for award set-up.
Our team will communicate the need for a budget reduction due to a sponsor award reduction to the PI/Department Administrator via a standardized email template.
Scenario A: If the award matches the proposed budget, or budget submitted at Just-In-Time or equivalent, no further action is needed.
Scenario B: If the sponsor provides a revised budget, no further action is needed.
Scenario C: If award reduction is greater than 25% of the total proposed budget or re-budgeting requires sponsor approval, our team will request a revised budget from the PI/Department Administrator.
- Scenario D: If award reduction is less than 25% of the total proposed budget and re-budgeting does not require sponsor approval, our team will notify the PI/Department Administrator that a revised budget should be submitted within 5 working days. Otherwise, we will perform a straight line budget cut by the overall percent reduction across each category for award set-up purposes only.
If the award includes outgoing subawards, the Award Setup Team or Grant Specialist will contact the PI/Department Administrator listed on the RAPSS award record to complete the Subrecipient Commitment Form (if not completed at time of proposal), and provide the required subaward documents (final budget, budget justification, final SOW, Subrecipient Commitment Form, and Statement of Intent) to the subaward team. For more information on issuing an outgoing subaward, please see Subaward Processing.
Award Type Protocol Type Action New Awards (Including supplements or new scope of work) All ORRA will complete congruency review Non-Competing Continuation / Modification Pending, Approved with Stipulations ORRA will complete congruency review Approved and Protocol End Date has passed or will expire within 30 days ORRA will complete congruency review Approved and Protocol End Date has not passed (and will not expire within 30 days) Congruency review not required, continue with award set up
Award Type Protocol Status Action New Awards (or Supplement with Scope Change) All ORRA will complete the congruency review Continuations Significant Change to Vertebrate Animals as identified in RPPR ORRA will complete the congruency review Protocol has expired ORRA will complete the congruency review All Other Award Types All Congruency review not required, continue with award set-up
REHS will complete review for protocols on all awards types with permits and/or registrations from a non-Rutgers organization.
ORRA will complete review for protocols on all award types with export controls.
For clinical trials with a defined budget (ex. NIH):
- Rutgers internal budget template is required for award set-up (new, modifications, continuations, etc.). The full budget will be entered into the financial system.
- If an end date is specified, the sponsor defined end date will be entered in the system. Otherwise, the award will be set-up for a five-year period.
For clinical trials without a defined budget (ex. Industry):
- If the sponsor does not provide a total estimated or maximum budget amount, the department will determine Target Budget that will be entered into Oracle. NOTE: Research and Financial Services advises departments utilize the best/optimistic estimate to minimize the number of future award/contract limit increases.
- Rutgers internal budget template is not required for award set-up. Only the per-patient budget provided to the sponsor is needed.
- The award will be set-up for one period of five years, unless otherwise noted by the sponsor.
Departments will send invoices to the Research and Financial Services office monthly when sent to the sponsor. Research and Financial Services will increase the budget and book AR accordingly.
Modifying an Award
The information below provides additional details regarding areas related to processing award modifications. For questions regarding award set-up, please send us an email.
When an award is sent from Research and Sponsored Programs for set-up, Grants and Contracts Accounting or the Award Setup team will determine whether a new Index/Account will be created for each budget period or the project period. This process applies to the main account, as well as any project accounts (unless the project account has a defined period of performance).
A new contract number will be created if any of the following applies to the award:
- New award number
- New competing segment, including new sponsor award number
There will be one project for the full period associated with one contract if any of the following apply to the award:
- The award is under expanded authority
- The award does not have restricted carry-forward
There will be one project per budget year associated with one contract if any of the following apply to the award:
- Restricted carry-forward
- Change in payment method [e.g. from G to P subaccount (NIH only)]
- Supplemental funding with new scope
- Restricted funding with concurrent indirect cost rate (e.g. when multiple F&A rates for a single budget period)
Additional projects will be created for awards with multiple Principle Investigators. New contracts and new projects will be created for cost share and program income associated with sponsored project contracts.
Our Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting No-Cost-Extension requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see No-Cost Extensions for more information.
Our Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting Carry Forward (or Carryover) requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see Carryover Requests for more information.
Our Grant Specialist is responsible for submitting Budget Reallocation requests to the sponsor on behalf of the Principal Investigator. Please see Budget Reallocations for more information.